Jan 29, 2014

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Indonesia and Africa are among Big Tobacco’s top targets as the industry increasingly targets low- and middle-income countries in its insatiable quest for profit, no matter the cost in lives and health.

Recent news stories document both the enormous challenges posed by the tobacco epidemic in these countries and regions – and the growing call for strong action to rein in the tobacco industry and save lives.

Jan 17, 2014

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As the United States marks the 50th anniversary of the first Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health, the nation’s leading health officials today issued a clarion call to end the tobacco epidemic for good.

“Enough is enough,” acting Surgeon General Boris Lushniak said at a White House ceremony where he released a new, 980-page report that documents both the remarkable progress we’ve made and the huge toll tobacco continues to take on the nation’s health.

Dec 23, 2013

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In November, researchers published a study that concluded the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had seriously underestimated the impact that graphic warning labels would have in reducing smoking rates in the United States. Now, another prominent researcher is arguing that the FDA's economic analysis grossly overestimated the cost to the economy of requiring such labels because of the amount of weight that was given to the 'lost pleasure' people would experience if they were not smoking.

Dec 17, 2013

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As we’ve documented, manufacturers of electronic cigarettes are using the same slick tactics long used to market regular cigarettes to kids. They have celebrity spokespeople, ads with rugged men and glamorous women just like the Marlboro Men and Virginia Slims women of old, race car sponsorships, sweet flavors and even a cartoon pitchman.

Now one e-cigarette retailer has stooped to a new low in copying Big Tobacco’s playbook. Vapor Shark features Santa Claus in a billboard ad for its e-cigarettes that was spotted on I-95 in Miami.

Dec 13, 2013

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The New York Times today made the tobacco industry’s latest bullying tactic front page news. 

The Times story by Sabrina Tavernise shows how tobacco companies are fighting nations’ laws to reduce tobacco use by challenging them as violations of international trade and investment agreements. These efforts are at aimed at defeating measures to reverse soaring smoking rates, especially in low- and middle-income countries with limited resources to fight back.

Nov 25, 2013

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A recent conference in China highlighted both the huge toll tobacco use is taking on the country and the need for urgent action to stem this growing epidemic.

Cigarette smoking is the main force behind a 465 percent increase in lung cancer deaths in China over the past 30 years, making lung cancer the top cause of cancer in the country, according to doctors and researchers speaking at the Sixth China North-South Lung Cancer Summit in Beijing.

Nov 21, 2013

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When you quit smoking, how long does it take for your health to improve?

No time at all. The health benefits of quitting smoking are almost immediate. As soon as you quit, you start to improve your health and increase your chances of leading a long, healthy life.

For many reasons, any day is a good day to quit smoking. But today is an especially good day.  It’s the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout – a day when smokers are encouraged to quit smoking, or to make a plan to quit smoking.

Nov 20, 2013

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A new report by the American Cancer Society warns that without urgent action to prevent tobacco use, Africa will be the 'future epicenter of the tobacco epidemic' with soaring rates of tobacco use and related disease and death.

According to the report, rates of tobacco use are likely to increase as African nations continue to experience strong economic and massive population growth. The number of African smokers will skyrocket from 77 million today to 572 million by 2100 unless proven measures to reduce tobacco use are implemented and enforced throughout the continent.

Nov 19, 2013

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New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg made history again today in the fight against tobacco.

Mayor Bloomberg signed into law bills that prohibit the sale of tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21, establish a minimum price for cigarettes and little cigars, and ban tobacco industry discounting schemes that keep tobacco products affordable and appealing to kids. New York City will be the first major city or state to have a minimum tobacco sale age of 21.

Nov 14, 2013

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How does the Indonesian tobacco company Djarum celebrate the country’s National Health Day? It places a giant front-page ad for one of its cigarettes in a national newspaper. Then that newspaper happens to make its way onto every seat at the launch event for the Ministry of Health’s National Health Day event.

That’s how bad things are in Indonesia, where tobacco companies have near-free rein to promote and sell their deadly products and newspapers shirk their responsibility to readers by running those ads.

Nov 4, 2013

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Several leading members of Congress are warning of “e-cigarette flashbacks” – advertising and promotions for electronic cigarettes that mirror those long used by cigarette makers to target kids.

The Food and Drug Administration must act quickly to regulate e-cigarettes and protect kids, Reps. Henry Waxman (D-CA), Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Frank Pallone (D-NJ) wrote in a letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg. These lawmakers hold leadership positions on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, serving as Ranking Member (Waxman), Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Ranking Member (DeGette) and Health Subcommittee Ranking Member (Pallone).

Nov 1, 2013

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Fifty-six members of the U.S. House of Representatives this week signed a letter to President Obama urging him to protect nations’ authority to adopt tobacco control measures under the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement.  The United States is negotiating the trade pact with 11 other countries.

Last year, the United States Trade Representative announced that it would propose strong language recognizing that tobacco products are uniquely harmful and protecting tobacco control measures from being challenged as a violation of the TPP.  But in August, the U.S. backed off this strong language and offered a much weaker proposal.

Oct 31, 2013

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They come in flavors like wild apple, berry blend, watermelon and chocolate.

They may sound like Halloween treats, but in fact they’re Big Tobacco’s tricks for getting kids hooked on their products.

Tobacco companies peddle sweet-flavored cigars and smokeless tobacco products that are flavored and colorfully packaged just like candy. Sometimes sugary snacks and their tobacco imitators even share counter space in convenience stores.

Oct 24, 2013

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Cigarette sales are down for Philip Morris International (PMI) in countries with strong laws to reduce tobacco use.  The international maker of the best-selling Marlboro brand is the world’s largest publicly traded tobacco company.  During the third quarter of 2013, PMI reported that global cigarette sales fell both for the company and the industry as a whole, a promising sign that the tide may be turning on the global tobacco epidemic. 

Oct 21, 2013

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With new action to reduce smoking, Russia has firmly positioned itself as a global leader in the fight against tobacco use, which is the world’s number one cause of preventable death.

Last week, the Russian Duma passed its second major piece of tobacco control legislation this year, giving Russia some of the strongest laws to combat tobacco use.  The new law strengthens the comprehensive tobacco control law that President Putin signed in February and has been in force since June.

Oct 15, 2013

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Showing once again that well-funded, sustained tobacco prevention programs work, Alaska reported this week that the state’s high school smoking rate fell to just 10.6 percent this year – a 40 percent drop since 2007.

Alaska’s new rate is far below the national high school smoking rate of 18.1 percent (based on the most recent equivalent national survey, the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey).

Oct 7, 2013

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Tobacco companies claim they don’t market to kids.  But a new study conducted in six low- and middle-income countries provides fresh evidence that tobacco marketing and branding are highly effective at reaching kids.

In the six countries studied – Brazil, China, India, Nigeria, Pakistan and Russia – more than two-thirds of five- and six-year-olds surveyed were able to identify at least one cigarette logo.  In China, where smoking rates are among the highest in the world, an alarming 86 percent of children surveyed could identify at least one logo.

Oct 2, 2013

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The CDC recently reported that rates of electronic cigarette use among U.S. youth more than doubled from 2011 to 2012, when 10 percent of high school students reported ever having used e-cigarettes.

These numbers are troubling but not surprising. There has been an explosion in e-cigarette marketing in recent years, and e-cigarette manufacturers are using the same slick tactics long used to market regular cigarettes to kids.

Sep 27, 2013

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A growing chorus of elected officials at the state and federal level — 40 state attorneys general and a group of 10 U.S. senators and two U.S. House members — are demanding strong action to stop the marketing and sale of electronic cigarettes to kids.

The attorneys general wrote to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg Tuesday, urging the FDA to swiftly regulate the e-cigarette industry and warning that e-cigarette manufacturers are tempting kids with sweet flavors, cartoon images and television advertising portraying e-cigarette use as attractive — in much the same way cigarette companies targeted children for decades.

Sep 24, 2013

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Restrictions in Canada keep glamorous tobacco ads out of magazines. But that doesn’t keep them from coming in from the U.S.

Health advocates in Canada are outraged that glossy, full-page ads for Camel cigarettes have made their way to Canadian youths’ backpacks and bed stands inside recent issues of several American magazines – including Sports Illustrated, People, Glamour, and Entertainment Weekly, among others.

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